Chicago 6, Atlanta 1

On a day that, if you merely glanced at the headlines, just another in a long line of merciless
beatdowns by an Atlanta opponent, perhaps we got our first taste of the fruits of the rebuild as Aaron
Blair made his second start, this one a very good effort, at the NL Central leading Chicago Cubs, and
Freddie Freeman homered for the second straight game.

Blair went 6 very strong innings, giving up only a 1-2-3 (1 run, 2 hits, 3 walks) to the Cubbies.
Unfortunately, Fredi G. of Da Fredi G. Show pulled Blair after 85 pitches for a pinch hitter in the 7th,
as the Braves loaded the bases with no outs. But, this being Atlanta, the Braves immediately struck
out twice and Nick Markakis couldn’t get the big two out hit off Jon Lester. Alexi Ogando tiptoed
through the 7th, getting old friend David Ross to ground into a bases loaded one out double play, but
Jim Johnson, the Ghost of Eric O’Flaherty, and Chris Withrow combined to let the Cubs scratch across
five runs in the 8th. Scratch, as in an Anthony Rizzo single to center for one, and a Matt Szczur grand
slam immediately after. In related news, until Mike Foltynezwicz gets the call from Gwinnett, Szczur
becomes the Scrabble leader in the majors.

But I digress.

I feel the last word should be given to our old friend, Andy DuFresne:

66 thoughts on “Chicago 6, Atlanta 1”

  1. Except for two bad losing streaks, this team is 5-1.

    Hopefully those were just anomalies.

  2. Scrabble pedantry warning!

    Stipulating a world in which proper names are allowable in Scrabble, we’re still limited by the rules of play and letter availability. Since there’s only one Z, you’d have to use a blank for the other, scoring no additional points. And extra long names must have a hook to play through, as you have only the 7 letters on your rack. The alphagram ELOQUVZ arranges to VOLQUEZ for 28 points, the best score currently available on a pure play. However, you could play the alphagram EELQUVZ through an AS on the board for VELASQUEZ, for 30 points. I think that’s the highest playable name.

  3. @5

    “Real-estate business.” That’s what the Braves are, and clearly they’ve got that down pat; extract stadiums and land from taxpayers at a fraction of the cost. Unfortunately, the baseball part of it eludes this organization.

  4. I’m interested to see how many starts Folty gets. We either have guys with great stuff that haven’t cured their walking issues (Newcomb and Folty), or strike throwers who can’t strike people out (Weber and Gant), but Lucas Sims, after 5-6 starts, might make a compeliling reason to be in Atlanta. His K/BB ratio is better than just about anyone in the minors.

    Mike Soroka has had yet another dominating start in Rome. He could be in double-A by the end of the year.

    Here’s some fun math: if Swanson were to get 650 ABs, he would be on pace tor the following: .333/.441/.526, 84 2Bs, 8 HRs, 70 RBIs, 105 BB, 49 SBs.

    And Bud Norris sucks.

  5. Mark Bowman
    ✔ ‎‎@mlbbowman

    Ozzie Albies has been promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett and Dansby Swanson has been promoted to Double-A Mississippi.

    8:09 AM – 30 Apr 2016

  6. I have to give Aybar some credit. The guy can bunt the ball. He also clearly demonstrated that if you bunt a ball in Lester,s neighborhood, good things will happen. I wonder why no one elae tried it. Probably because they can’t bunt.

  7. Bill James’s current “hottest hitter” list:

    Victor Martinez 102°
    Tommy La Stella 100°
    Gregor Blanco 98°
    Matt Joyce 95°
    Martin Prado 94°

  8. @11, There are certain categories of player that, if I ran a baseball organization, it would be mandatory that they be coached relentlessly on bunting: Pitchers. All-field/no-hit players. Anyone who is fast.

    I wouldn’t waste my big fat slugger’s time teaching him how to bunt, but it’s inexcusable that hitters who could use the bunt––either to go for a hit, to take advantage of defensive shifts, or, yes, to sacrifice in the few times it makes sense to do so––aren’t capable of doing it.

  9. They will both almost certainly be an upgrade defensively, and if they could stumble to a couple of .650 OPSes and some smart baserunning, I suppose I could live with that.


    That article is fish in a barrel when the team is woefully dreadful. If Liberty Media pulls a Jeffrey Loria and keeps the on-field product at a barren level after taxpayer support, then… well, that’s point. There’s no consequence.

  10. @18, they would be two of the best players on the team right now, which isn’t saying much…but…it’s a start. Albies doesn’t have anything left to prove. I guess Swanson could use a month at AA.

  11. So, if Albies and Swanson are both up after the Allstar break, what does our position players and bench look like at that point? Do we put those two up at the top of a lineup or ease them into the MLB at the bottom of the lineup? Any chance we move Markakis to a playoff team looking for a solid bat so that we can move Inciarte to RF and leave Mallex in CF as Markakis isn’t really a part of our future anyways? I project:

    Inciarte L RF
    Albies S 2B
    Freeman L 1B
    Garcia R LF
    Ruiz R 3B
    AJP/Flowers L/R C
    Swanson R SS
    Mallex L CF

    Aybar S SS/2B
    Bonifacio S 2B/OF
    Francoeur R OF
    Johnson L IF/OF

  12. I must be nuts, but if the weather abides (and it may not), I’ll probably catch the Monday-night game in Flushing.

    There’s usually a formidible showing of Braves support — it was even there last year. Wonder what it’ll be this week. Guessing I might be a little lonely.

  13. Michael Conforto
    after 5, 3 for 3 incl 2 HR’s..

    …you remember the question a few days back about KLaw naming two possibles as the third best major leaguer, both ending in o…Muchado/Arenado…move over, sometimes you just don’t have to wait.

  14. It was quite the AA debut for Mr. Swanson: a HBP, a double, and the game winning homer. Not too shabby.

  15. @ 21. I would prefer keeping Markakis, but if he goes, please get a catcher. I can’t watch AJP behind the plate.

  16. Aaron Blair
    now that he’s hair
    intending to stay
    it’s simply a matter of pay.

    Aaron Blair
    it was always to do with his hair
    such shock of dark follicles
    distracting from sliders and curves diabolicals.

    Aaron Blair
    with whom may we rightly compare?
    the once chisseled Bartolo
    prior to having to sell his horses and give up polo.

  17. Olivera redacto
    ipso facto
    at the accountant’s station
    choose accelerated depreciation.

  18. Concomitant trades get you trouble
    the first merely bursting the bubble
    the second compounding
    the error confounding
    what hope we might find in the rubble.

  19. If you can work “concomitant” and “ubiquitous” into the same sentence, blazon, you too can have a career in Department of Defense contracting.

  20. Withrow optioned, Bonerface called up. The Braves are now a neutron star of sucky utility players.

  21. Has anyone noticed that the Phillies and Marlins are both winners in 8 of their last 10?

  22. The Braves somehow screwed up a contract purchase/promotion and now Bonifacio can’t actually be called up.

  23. I guess if you release a guy on a major league contract in order to resign him to a minor league contract, you can’t purchase his minor league contract for 30 days. Reasonable that we don’t know that. Professionals working in a major league front office? Not so much.

  24. This Bonifacio screw up is really one of those times when I can say, “Well, I could have done that.” I’m not sure why the whole gang isn’t summarily dismissed and replaced with Braves Journal commenters. How much worse can it get?

  25. Hate to say it but the Mets are kinda fun to watch… Confront, Cespedes, Walker in the middle, Thor on the mound.

  26. @37

    Just thinking that today, how easy it would be to be a Mets fan right now…

  27. Nice job by Adonis. He eluded a tag with the bases loaded and one out so that a run could score.

  28. Same ole Heyward .. roll over a pitch to ground to 2nd base … never could see the infatuation wiht him .. Cubs pay 23 mil per year for 8 years WOW –for 220 hitter .. with ) HR’s … they can have him … trying to get Julio thru the 7th … cant wait to watch the 8th and 9th .. HuH OH here come our Bullpen ..

  29. Same ole Heyward .. roll over a pitch to ground to 2nd base … never could see the infatuation with him .. Cubs pay 23 mil per year for 8 years WOW –for 220 hitter .. with 0 HR’s … they can have him … trying to get Julio thru the 7th … cant wait to watch the 8th and 9th .. HuH OH here come our Bullpen ..

  30. Come on Mallix .. you got the top of order coming up .. 0 outs … u never make the 1st out at 3rd base

  31. Fire FG … left handed batters coming up and he leaves in Johnson to face Fowler .. he is by far the WORST MGR in baseball .. NO CLUE !!!!!

  32. @47 — the baserunning blub by Mallix Smith gonna come back to haunt the Braves.

  33. this team makes mistakes that Coaching should be taken care of … terrible .. bae running mistakes ..bad coaching decisions on pitchers late in games … pickoff’s that you make sure you hit the 1st baseman .. waking the leadoff hitter in the many bad plays …..

  34. Mallex was safe at 3rd, umpires blew the call and the subsequent review. There’s no such excuse for Vizcaino – he simply didn’t execute.

  35. Tad, we have only scratched the surface…

    Also, I believe Fowler is a better hitter versus lefties.

  36. BRAVES WIN .. BRAVES WIN … what ?? Did I say BRAVES WIN … am I sure ?????

  37. After the Cubs got it to 3-2, I would have bet my life savings that the Braves would blow the game.

    Somehow, they blew the save and then… managed to come back and get a run off the Cubs closer and hold on for the win. That was… surprising.

  38. @54 .. John and Freddie must be looking at the same stats … last years stats … LOL

  39. If you guys want Fredi to not blow games, you can’t let him have washed up Johnson and EOF in the same bullpen.

    Btw it looks like Julio will be this year’s Shelby. Dominant start is a ND

    Speaking of Shelby, he gave up 4h, 4bb, 3er in 3.2 and if the score holds he will be 1-19 in his last 20 decisions (31 starts)

  40. May 1 seems an appropriate time to check our first month leader boards:

    Tied for the team lead in Wins is Bud Norris, Jhoulys Chacin, Alexi Ogando, Jason Grilli, Ryan Weber, and Arodys Vizcaino with 1.

  41. @58, 59

    It was just a hunch. I didn’t actually check his stats before I posted.

    And not that it really matters, but Fowler has a career slash line of .255/.355/.416 vs RHP and .304/.349/.439.


  42. Soooo… That Shelby Miller trade is looking better and better with every start.

  43. So, do we keep Mallex Smith up when Inciarte gets back? It does look like he is starting to figure some things out at the plate. Hasn’t he started off slow with each new level of play and then come on strong after figuring it out? Isn’t that what happened to him in AAA last year?

  44. Not sure about every level, but definitely last season at AAA, Mallex started slow

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